My dear friends, Rotary leaders, and Rotaract leaders:
A new Rotary year is upon us, and let us say one final thank you to former President Barry Rassin for his outstanding leadership. Barry, we will miss you, but we know and appreciate that you will continue to lead Rotary in important ways for years to come.
I have spoken for several months about how Rotary Connects the World, and the time has now arrived to put our words into action. We have an exciting year ahead of us, a year when we begin to implement the new Strategic Plan, what I call the Rotary Action Plan and when we will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter.
That anniversary will underscore the ties we have and goals we share with the United Nations. We will host five special events—UN Day in New York, three presidential conferences in Paris, Santiago, and Rome, and a final celebration just before the Convention in Honolulu. This will help us achieve the first Action Plan goal of increasing our impact by demonstrating that Rotary’s influence in the world has only just begun.
The second Action Plan goal is expanding our reach. To achieve that, we need to grow Rotary – reaching out to new members, engaging current members, and creating more alternatives for membership for the next generation of Rotarians.
The final priority of our new Action Plan is increasing our ability to adapt. New approaches to our organizing principles do not threaten our sense of who we are. That is why I believe that Rotary must respect professional commitments and not require Rotary leadership to be a full-time job. We need to respect the time and responsibilities of young people who are building careers.
Together, we will harness the power of connection just as our organization has been doing for more than 114 years. We have a long, proud heritage. And we will continue to thrive because we are not afraid of change.
I look forward to leading you in this important journey, as Rotary Connects the World!
Yours in Rotary,
Rtn. Mark Daniel Maloney
President, Rotary International 2019-2020